Some day you will read in the papers that D.L. Moody of East Northfield, is dead. Don't you believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now; I shall have gone up higher, that is all, out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal- a body that death cannot touch, that sin cannot taint; a body fashioned like unto His glorious body.
It’s been my privilege for the past two years to participate in Community Bible Study’s Orange Evening Women’s class where we do an in-depth study of God’s word.Last year our class went through the book of Revelation.I learned more from that study than any other time I’ve read or studied Revelation.This year we’ve been studying the gospel of John.
For many years I was part of the Bible Study Fellowship class that meets in Santa Ana on Monday evening.Those years of study took me from being a relatively new Christian to someone who knew God’s word for myself.
There is nothing like studying the word of God in depth for myself.It’s just me, the Bible and God.I pray for the Holy Spirit to give me understanding.God has revealed Himself to man through the Bible.He tells us who He is.He has revealed His purpose and plan for people and our world.He tells us what went wrong, why our world is so messed up and why I’m so messed up. He offers me hope that it doesn’t have to stay that way.
When I read God’s word, I fall more in love with my heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ who bore the punishment for my sin so that I could be forgiven and set free from sin.Set free from the penalty of sin, the power of sin and one day from the presence of sin.
"Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people." ... Colossians 3:23
I give Debra a hardy Amen! It served as a good reminder to me on how to approach giving to and serving others. As I was reading, the thought came to mind that for me the most challenging people to live out Colossians 3:23 is family. I take that as a prompt from the Lord to purpose in my heart and mind, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to do things without expectation on how they will respond or what I should get in return.
Recent days and months have had their share of sorrow in the death of precious friends.I’ll tell you, there is a world of difference when a Christian dies and when an unbeliever dies.
As a Christian I have confident hope and assurance that I will one day see my believing family and friends again.It brings joy to think that I will once again see their face, hear their laugh and feel their warm embrace.We will be together in heaven, a place where there is no more sin, sickness, sorrow or death.We will be with our Savior and see Him face to face.A place where worship and praise will never end.Halleluiah, I long for that day.
But when someone dies who has not received Jesus Christ as their Savior, when they haven’t repented of their sin, when they haven’t cried out to the Lord for forgiveness…it’s not good!It’s a place of eternal punishment, retribution, unrelenting suffering that will never, ever end.
It almost feels more tortuous when I don’t know if my loved one is in heaven or hell.
There’s not a day that goes by I don’t think of my precious friend.I may hear some whose laugh sounds just like her laugh, or see someone who looks like her and I wonder…where is she today?Will we ever be together again?
Lord forgive me please for not being more bold in sharing the Gospel message, for worrying more about offending her rather than being concerned about the place she will spend eternity.
Squeaking breaks were more than just an annoyance or an indication that I needed to get our car serviced to insure that I was safe on the road.This would be another repair on a car that’s 11 years old.A repair that might cost more than what the car was worth.Our car had become a money pit and it seemed like we were throwing good money after bad.
After the last repair, my husband Chris and I discussed the possibility that it might be the time to consider getting a new car to replace our aging car.
The squeaking started just a few days before we were going on vacation and whatever action we decided to take would have to wait until we returned.Thankfully both Chris and I had taken an additional day off from work following our vacation.It proved to be helpful as we went car shopping yesterday.
God had some lessons for me to learn in the middle of our car troubles.One of the top lessons was to not be anxious.Our car problems didn’t take God by surprise and He would go before us and give us wisdom to make good choices.
Yesterday, before we set off to look at vehicles, I felt that God was telling me to let go of my preconceived notions.Based on prior bad experiences with two car dealers, I was tempted to dismiss two cars that we should consider because they had good ratings for safety and value.
Prior to our vacation, I had done some research on AAA’s automobile car shoppingservices and had a good idea on what cars we should look at.It’s a great tool that proved to be very helpful in our search for a car.If you are a member of AAA you can contact the designated dealers and arrange to meet with them.In doing this, you eliminate the high pressure sales tactics associated with car buying.You will also avail yourself of the AAA agreed upon discounted rate.
Before we left the house we prayed for God to give us wisdom to determine the best car to purchase and trust His leading and timing.We asked that we would both be in agreement as to what car we should purchase and for His favor.
We set out with a plan to look at three vehicles, test drive them, find out what finance options were available so we could choose the best car for us and be responsible with the resources God has given us.
God did indeed go before us and we both felt comfortable with purchasing any of the top three vehicles we were looking at.We had set a plan to look at all three vehicles before making a decision and we stuck to that despite heavy pressure from one dealer to make a decision right then and there.
As it turned out, we ended up getting the vehicle that was last on my initial list.We both liked the car and the tipping point was that we were able to get 0.0% financing for 60 months.That was too good to turn down.
Now every time I look at the car I am reminded of God’s faithfulness, His provision in finding the car and getting a good deal.
I know it’s silly, but I like to name my cars.Last night after we got home, I decided to name our new car Ebenezer because it will be a reminder, “Thus far the Lord has brought us.”
My husband Chris and I are fresh back from our vacation to Washington DC and Virginia to visit with family.It was a much needed time away from the day to day grind of responsibilities at work and home.It was lovely to spend time with family and meet those whom I’ve only talked to on the phone or seen pictures of and prayed for.I was honored to see historic sites that I’ve only read about in history books or seen in news stories.
While on vacation, I did take my Bible and read scripture and my devotional, but goodness I missed so much my closer walk with the Lord.It was not the same as sitting in the chair in the quiet of the morn and reading the scripture with my ear inclined to hear Him speak to me.Due to our travel days, we missed going to church on Sunday which left me feeling an emptiness in my soul.
I truly missed my prayer time built into my daily life, where I come before the Lord.My prayers were not as focuses and purposeful.I must say, there were some spiritual battles going on and the enemy had the upper hand as I was weak and ineffective in my daily walk.
So today, as I opened my Bible, I was able to focus as I read God’s word.A couple of things stood out to me as I read my devotional from John 20"11-13: “11 But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”
The commentator pondered that Mary Magdalene’s life was transformed after she was delivered from demons and experienced the joy of being with Jesus.
I wondered, when I lack joy is that an indication that I am not walking closely with You?
The second reading was about the father who comes to Jesus and is desperate for Jesus to deliver his son from demon possession.
21 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”
And he said, “From childhood. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” - Mark 9:21-24
As I read the words of the father I asked, when I’m desperate but struggling in my faith, do I turn to Jesus and cry out, “I believe, help me with my unbelief?”
Oh Lord, I missed You greatly.If for no other reason than the fact that daily life keeps me close to You, I’m grateful to be back.Jesus draw me close and never let me go.